Buying FAQ

 

Redfin and Our Agents

How does Redfin work?

What makes Redfin Agents different from other real estate agents?

How do I learn more about Redfin Agents in my area?

How do I contact a local Redfin Agent?

Is it possible to meet my Redfin Agent before I tour or make an offer?

What's the difference between Redfin Agents and Partner Agents?

Will I be working with a Redfin Agent or a Partner Agent?

What if I start working with Redfin and decide I want to work with a traditional agent?

What if I'm already working with an agent?

Who can use Redfin to buy a home?

 

Browsing Homes on Redfin.com

How can I see all the homes that are on the market?

How can I find more homes that match my criteria?

How can I stay up to date on all the homes I’m interested in?

How can I share homes and get input from my agent, co-buyer, or friends?

How is the Redfin Estimate calculated?

How do I find out how popular a home is?

Who are the agents associated with a home listed on Redfin.com? What are their roles?

Where can I find more information about a neighborhood?

How can I find a home to optimize my commute?

How can I calculate the true cost of a home?

What’s the best way to get more information about a specific home or about buying a home I've found?

 

Home Tours

Do you offer home tours so I can see the property I'm interested in before buying it?

Does touring a property obligate me to work with Redfin?

Do I have to choose an agent in order to visit a home?

What makes scheduling a tour with Redfin better than other options, like open houses or using a traditional agent?

I scheduled a home tour. What are the next steps?

What should I look for when visiting a home in person?

Is there anything I can do to see a home in more detail without visiting in person?

 

ID Verification

Why does Redfin need to verify my identity before my first home tour?

How does the identity verification process work?

 

The Buying Process

What are the typical steps in the home-buying process?

How do I know what I can afford?

Where can I find trusted service providers, including lenders?

How can I learn more about the market?

 

Submitting an Offer

Does submitting an offer commit me to buying a property?

What happens if I submit an offer after 5 pm?

If I submit an offer through Redfin, are you obligated to work with me as a client?

 

Your Redfin Refund

How much money can I expect to save through Redfin?

Does Redfin have a minimum price limit?

Why doesn't Redfin offer a refund in my state?

How does Redfin calculate the refund?

When will I find out exactly how much money I'll save by buying with Redfin?

How and when do I get my Redfin Refund?

Do I pay taxes on my Redfin Refund?

 

 

Redfin and Our Agents

 

How does Redfin work?

Redfin is a full-service brokerage that uses modern technology to get you into homes first, and to save you thousands in fees. Your Redfin Agent does everything a traditional agent does, but earns a bonus based on your review, rather than a commission. The result: your agent moves mountains to get the home that’s right for you, but with none of the sales pressure for you to settle for anything less. Learn More

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What makes Redfin Agents different from other real estate agents?

Redfin Agents are customer advocates, accountable for helping clients buy the right home, at the right price. Because Redfin Agents earn bonuses based on customer reviews, rather than commissions, you won't be pressured to buy, no matter how many homes you tour. Every review is posted on our agents' profiles so you can choose the agent that's right for you.

We also offer a convenient, streamlined buying process. Each Redfin Agent is supported by a team of real estate professionals who help with scheduling and paperwork, so you get on-demand service from touring to close. Learn More

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How do I learn more about Redfin Agents in my area?

You can see Redfin Agents in your area by visiting our Real Estate Agents page and selecting your location. Click on any agent’s photo to see a profile that displays the agent's transaction history, customer reviews, and contact information. If you already know the name of an agent in your area, you can also search for her or him in any search box on our site.

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How do I contact a local Redfin Agent?

You have several options. One is to call 877-973-3346 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm PST seven days a week, and a customer support representative can connect you to a local agent. You can also fill out a contact form on our website or mobile app, and we'll reach out to you soon.

If you'd like to contact a specific agent, call the agent's team number or click the "Ask a Question" button. Both are located on every agent's profile and on the listing pages of homes in their area.

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Is it possible to meet a Redfin Agent before I tour or make an offer?

You bet! Reach out to us using one of the methods listed above, and we'll schedule you to meet with a local agent.

Once you've been paired with an agent, you'll work with that agent and his or her team the rest of the way through the offer process. If that agent isn't right for you for any reason, you can choose to change agents up until the time you submit an offer.

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What's the difference between Redfin Agents and Partner Agents?

Redfin Agents are employees of Redfin. Partner Agents don't work directly for our brokerage, but go through a thorough interview process in order to work with our customers to ensure that they provide the same level of customer service as Redfin Agents.

One other difference is that Redfin Agents offer a commission refund on a sliding scale, based on list price and standard agent commission. Partner Agents offer a $500 gift to customers who purchase homes for $200,000 and over.

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Will I be working with a Redfin Agent or a Partner Agent?

There are several reasons we may refer you to a Partner Agent rather than a Redfin Agent. We may not have Redfin Agents in your area, or the home you're interested in may be listed below our minimum price requirement. We also sometimes refer new customers to a Partner Agent if Redfin is receiving unusually high demand for services. If you've already started working with a Redfin Agent, you'll never be switched to a Partner Agent unless you request it or decide to shop for a home outside our service area or below our minimum price.

It's always clear on our site when you're choosing to work directly with Redfin and when you're working with a Partner Agent. And it's always your choice. No one will call or email you except at your request.

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What if I start working with Redfin and decide I want to work with a traditional agent?

You can change or remove the Redfin Agent connected to your account through your account settings.

Another option is to notify the Redfin Agent you've been working with that you'd like to switch. You can also email or call customer service at 877-973-3346 to be routed to the appropriate team for help.

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What if I'm already working with an agent?

We can't help you tour or make an offer if you're already working with another agent outside of Redfin. If you believe your agent is not delivering the value you expect, you can end your relationship with that agent and use a Redfin Agent.

If you signed a buyer's agency agreement, you must first inform your agent in writing of your decision. Please read that agreement carefully to ensure there are no other obligations to the agent following termination. If you're unsure about the terms of the agreement, you can call us or consult with an attorney. If you haven't signed a buyer's agency agreement, you can inform the agent of your decision in any way you like.

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Who can use Redfin to buy a home?

Anyone who meets the following conditions can use Redfin to buy a home:

  • You must be pre-qualified to borrow the amount needed to buy the property.
  • You cannot have a current buyer's agency contract with another real estate agent.
  • You cannot simultaneously have an open offer on another property.
  • You must sign the Redfin Buyer's Agency Agreement.

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Browsing Homes on Redfin.com

 

How can I see all the homes that are on the market?

When you browse homes on Redfin.com and our mobile apps, you're seeing the most updated listings available, all in one place. Our website and apps pull directly from the local real estate database (MLS), which is updated by local listing agents from a variety of brokerages. When a home is listed on the MLS, it will appear on Redfin.com in about 10 minutes. We also pull from Fizber.com, FSBO.com, ForSaleByOwner.com, and Oodle.com for homes that are for sale by owner.

If you're not seeing as many homes as you expect when searching, your search criteria may be limiting your results too much. For instance, using a city name rather than a zip code can produce more results in certain locations. Our Help Center can walk you through the process of searching for homes on Redfin.com.

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How can I find more homes that match my criteria?

Using filters during a search will help you refine your results according to your criteria. Our Help Center can give you tips on filtering your search.

You can also sign up to receive alerts whenever a listing that matches your search comes on the market.

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How can I stay up to date on all the homes I’m interested in?

If you have a Redfin account, just add homes to your list of favorites as you browse, and then sign up to receive alerts whenever one of your favorite homes is updated. You can also adjust your email settings so you receive listing updates when the price changes or an open house is scheduled for a favorite home.

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How can I share homes and get input from my agent, co-buyer, or friends?

If you have a Redfin account, you can invite others to see and comment on your favorite homes by using the Shared Favorites tool.

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How is the Redfin Estimate calculated?

As a real estate brokerage, Redfin has complete, direct access to Multiple Listing Services (MLSs), the databases that real estate agents use to list properties. This gives us information about homes that many non-brokerage websites don’t have, like whether the home has a water view or is located on a busy street. The Redfin Estimate algorithm considers hundreds of data points about the market, the neighborhood, and the home itself. When all of this data meets the computing power of our technology, you get the Redfin Estimate. Learn More

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How do I find out how popular a home is?

Properties labeled as Hot Homes are more likely to sell within two weeks, based on attributes like price, neighborhood, and buyer preferences in the area. You can also see how long a home has been on the market, and how many times it's been favorited or toured, on the listing page.

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Who are the agents associated with a home listed on Redfin.com? What are their roles?

The agent pictured to the right of the home's photo on the listing page is the Redfin Agent or Partner Agent who serves buyers of homes in that area. This agent is the customer's main point of contact throughout a transaction, answering questions, writing an offer, and negotiating the best deal.

Each Redfin Agent is supported by other real estate experts who provide on-demand service and help streamline the buying process:

  • Independent contractor Associate Agents lead home tours and attend open houses and inspections.
  • Coordinators schedule tours and help customers get pre-approved. They also coordinate property access for inspectors and appraisers, manage escrow, and prepare paperwork to ensure an on-time closing.

You can find the contact information for the seller's agent under the property description for the home, in accordance with MLS guidelines. But we recommend that you work with a buyer's agent, such as the Redfin Agent pictured on the listing page, rather than contacting a seller's agent directly. That way you have an agent representing your best interests right from the beginning.

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Where can I find more information about a neighborhood?

You can learn about nearby schools, median home values, walkability, and more by reviewing the "Schools" and "Neighborhood" sections of a home's listing page. Walkscore.com is also a useful resource that offers insights about crime rates, nearby retail, and more.

If you still need more information, your local Redfin Agent can give you details about a particular home's neighborhood.

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How can I find a home to optimize my commute?

The listing page for each home on Redfin.com displays Walk Score, Transit Score, and Bike Score information. These ratings can help you evaluate commuting options in that neighborhood. Learn More

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How can I calculate the true cost of a home?

For a quick estimate of your fixed monthly costs, use the Payment Calculator featured on each home's listing page, which takes into account property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and more.

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What’s the best way to get more information about a specific home or about buying a home I've found?

If you're not already working with a real estate agent, contact the Redfin Agent or Partner Agent pictured to the right of the home's photo on the listing page.

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Home Tours

 

Do you offer home tours so I can see the property I'm interested in before buying it?

Absolutely! A Redfin Agent or independent contractor Associate Agent will take you to see your first home tour, and as many as you want after that. Our agents take time to get to know you and your needs, providing expert advice about the home and the neighborhood—with no pressure to buy.

Redfin will ask that you get pre-approved before your third tour with us, and possibly earlier in certain areas and during times of high demand. Getting pre-approved shows sellers that you're serious about a home purchase. And if you tour a home you really love, being pre-approved makes the offer process faster and easier.

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Does touring a property obligate me to work with Redfin?

No. Touring with Redfin will not obligate you to buy a home with us, but we hope you find our service valuable and continue to stay with us through the buying process. After your home tour, we'll follow up to see if you need any more help with your search.

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Do I have to choose an agent in order to visit a home?

Not at all! Just choose a tour date and time that work best for you, and Redfin will do the rest by scheduling an agent to lead the tour. If the date and time you've chosen isn't available, we'll contact you to reschedule. Learn More

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What makes scheduling a tour with Redfin better than other options, like open houses or using a traditional agent?

When you tour with a Redfin Agent or independent contractor Associate Agent, you have a real estate expert on your side who has in-depth local knowledge and can point out things about the property you may miss. Our agents will never pressure you to buy, no matter how many homes you tour. If you do decide to make an offer, the agent can get the process started right away.

Touring with Redfin also allows you to see a home when it fits your schedule, and can give you an advantage over buyers who wait for an open house. Because our agents are backed by teams who streamline the scheduling process, we can often provide same-day tours.

Unlike some brokerages, Redfin will never make you sign a contract before you tour, so you can feel good about scheduling tours without worrying about being tied to a particular agent.

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I scheduled a home tour. What are the next steps?

After scheduling a tour on our website, you'll get a notification that we've received your tour request. Our local team will get to work confirming the availability of the home and our agents. If the home isn’t available to tour at the time you requested, we'll contact you and figure out a time that works better for everyone. If it's your first tour with us, we'll ask you to verify your identity.

Once we have the details all set, we'll reach out to let you know your tour is a go. A confirmation email will include the name of the touring agent as well as the date, time, and location of your tour.

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What should I look for when visiting a home in person?

Our Home-Buying Guide can give you ideas of what to look for when touring a home, as well as questions to ask your agent during a tour.

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Is there anything I can do to see a home in more detail without visiting in person?

For homes listed by Redfin Agents, a 3D Walkthrough is available so you can take a closer look without having to step inside the home. Look for the 3D tour icon in the home's photo slideshow. Learn More

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ID Verification

 

Why does Redfin need to verify my identity before my first home tour?

When one of our agents connects with a customer for an initial home tour, it's usually the first time they've met face to face. We verify each customer's identity beforehand to ensure the safety of our agents.

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How does the identity verification process work?

To protect your privacy we use IDology, a third-party ID verification service that is safe, trustworthy, and non-intrusive.

The verification service will ask you a few simple questions. These are questions you should be able to answer easily but that would probably trip up an impostor. By answering these questions correctly, you'll verify that you are who you say you are.

If you have trouble with these ID verification questions, you can also complete your ID verification when our local team reaches out to confirm the tour details.

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The Buying Process 

 

What are the typical steps in the home-buying process?

Our Home-Buying Guide can walk you through the steps to buying a home, from getting pre-approved for a mortgage to closing the deal. You can also sign up for a free home-buying class in your area to learn the ins and outs of buying from an experienced Redfin Agent.

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How do I know what I can afford?

Our Affordability Calculator can help you find out what you can afford based on your income, monthly spending, loan type, and more.

There are a number of other costs involved in buying and owning a home that are not included in the purchase price. Find out more about up-front and ongoing costs in our Home-Buying Guide. You can also contact a local Redfin Agent, with no obligation, to discuss what you can expect to pay for a home.

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Where can I find trusted service providers, including lenders?

Your Redfin Agent can help with recommendations. You can also check out Redfin Open Book, a directory of top-rated local service providers, such as lenders and inspectors, with reviews from Redfin customers.

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How can I learn more about the market?

A home's listing page displays information that can be helpful for understanding the market in that area. Just scroll down to view recently sold homes nearby, median real estate values, and more.

Our Data Center offers detailed information about the housing market in metropolitan areas, cities, neighborhoods, and zip codes across the country. Local Redfin Agents can also answer questions about the market in your area, either one-on-one or during a free home-buying class.

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Submitting an Offer

 

Does submitting an offer commit me to buying a property?

Not at all! Once you click through the Offer Wizard and submit your offer for a Redfin Agent to review, the agent calls you to go over all the terms and then prepares a document for you to sign and send back to Redfin. You're under no commitment, and nothing is submitted to the seller until you put pen to paper to sign an offer.

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What happens if I submit an offer after 5 pm?

A Redfin Agent will contact you the following day.

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If I submit an offer through Redfin, are you obligated to work with me as a client?

No. If an offer price is far below the apparent market value of the property in question, we may ask you to explain your pricing. Without a reasonable rationale, we may ask that you modify your offer.

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Your Redfin Refund

 

How much money can I expect to save through Redfin?

A typical Redfin customer saves thousands on a home purchase. When representing a homebuyer, Redfin earns a commission from the seller, usually worth 2% to 3% of the net sales price of the home (the agreed-upon sales price minus any credits the seller pays for closing costs, repairs, or other contributions). In the markets we serve, we keep a portion of the commission for our service and refund* the rest to you, subject to lender approval. Learn more

*In Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee, state law prevents us from offering a refund to homebuyers.

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Does Redfin have a minimum price limit?

Yes, though this price will vary depending on which part of the country you're in. If you're interested in a home with a list price under our minimum price, we'll connect you to a local Partner Agent who can help you tour the home and make an offer.

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Why doesn't Redfin offer a refund in my state?

Specific laws prevent us from offering a commission refund to buyers in the following states:

Commission refunds are just one benefit of working with Redfin. You still get the advantage of our complete and accurate information about homes for sale, easy online tools, and full-service agents who are paid to be on your side.

If you want to help change your state's law, please email your state representative. The simplest message will suffice: "Please repeal (e.g. Oregon law 696.290) to allow real estate agent commission refunds and make (e.g. Oregon's) housing more affordable."

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How does Redfin calculate the refund?

When you buy with a Redfin Agent, we share up to half of our commission from the seller back to you.* Refunds are calculated on a sliding scale, and are based on the list price of the home at the time you make an offer so you can see exactly what you'll get back right on our website. Learn More

*In Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee, state law prevents us from offering a refund to homebuyers.

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When will I find out exactly how much money I'll save by buying with Redfin?

To get an idea how much you can save on our commission, check the listing page of any home for sale. If a Redfin Agent is available in that market, the amount of the refund will be displayed in the "How It Works" section to the right of the home's photo. However, we'll confirm the exact commission percentage once you submit your offer. You can also contact customer support before submitting an offer, and a representative will connect you to a local agent.

For certain properties, MLS rules prevent Redfin from displaying the exact commission rates on our website.

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How and when do I get my Redfin Refund?

Redfin will work with you to figure out the best way to distribute your refund.* You'll be in charge of how your your savings are applied.

  • Unless you specify otherwise, Redfin applies your refund to your closing costs, so you pay less out of pocket for the home. Closing costs vary depending on the lender, size of loan, home price, and timing of the closing.
  • The money in excess of your closing costs will be refunded to you by check at closing. Expect to get your check 7-10 days from close of escrow. This option is subject to lender approval.

*In Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee, state law prevents us from offering a refund to homebuyers.

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Do I pay taxes on my Redfin Refund?

The IRS has ruled that Redfin does not have to report commission refunds as taxable income.

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3 Comments

  • 0
    Avatar
    Hamilton Chandler

    I was browsing and decided to take a look at my old house at 3684 Mt Acomita, San Diego, Ca.
    92111-I was the first owner of this house-watched it built from the slam up in 1958-my mortgage (as I recall was for $17,900)--sold it in 1980 for 89k+ --thought you might find this of interest
    Signed;
    Hamilton Chandler

  • 0
    Avatar
    Hamilton Chandler

    I was browsing and decided to take a look at my old house at 3684 Mt Acomita, San Diego, Ca.
    92111-I was the first owner of this house-watched it built from the slam up in 1958-my mortgage (as I recall was for $17,900)--sold it in 1980 for 89k+ --thought you might find this of interest
    Signed;
    Hamilton Chandler

  • 0
    Avatar
    Kaleb

    Hi Hamilton,

    Thanks for writing in and sharing! Let us know if you ever need a hand with using the website!

    Best,

    Kaleb

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